Brief summary of the event: The
Halifax Explosion occurred on Thursday, December 6, 1917, when the city of Halifax
, Nova Scotia
, was devastated by the detonation of the SS Mont-Blanc
, a French cargo ship
that was fully loaded with wartime explosives. The Mont-Blanc detonated after colliding with the Norwegian SS Imo
in a part of Halifax Harbour
called "The Narrows". About 2,000 people were killed by debris, fires, and collapsed buildings, and it is estimated that over 9,000 were injured.
Research sources: Cur
se of the Narrows
by Laura M. MacDonald as well as various books on
Trinitrotoluene (TNT) from the Brown Science Library
Process included narrowing down the event to portray shock, fear, and confusion. Two mousetraps are hidden inside the book so that, when opened, the viewer is surprised and shocked by the force of the book opening. This shock mirrors what was felt by the people of Halifax when the SS Mont Blanc suddenly exploded. The confusion felt is portrayed through the chemical equations of TNT and TNP (Picric Acid) on the inside of the book. The Morse code depicts the telegraphs sent to and from Halifax that day. The only telegraph sent out before the explosion was by Vince Coleman, alerting the train companies that a munitions ship was on fire. The end of the message was "Goodbye boys", which is used for the text on the front cover of the book.